625 Sutter Gallery
Brian Reda – Others: Gender
Artist Reception April 2nd, 5:30-7:30pm
Regarding gender as nothing more than a comfortable compartmentalization, Brian Reda’s photographic series “Others: Gender” questions the most fundamental social construct in human society. Gender is increasingly being defined as a fluid spectrum, rather than a simple male/female dichotomy, and these images bear tangible witness to the validity of that outlook and the presence of those whose gender is most accurately described as “other.”
“Gender identity is constructed within one’s own personal sense of self,” explains Reda. “My inspiration, especially as a representation of the straight male, is the separation from the traditional dichotomy of the gender binary.” Approaching this contemporary theme with a long-established photographic process, Reda worked with a diverse group of gender-variant models to create a compelling testament to the wide range of gender presentations between – and beyond – male and female. The choice of tintype as a process adds a concrete immediacy to the subject matter. Each tintype is a one-of-a-kind original, being the actual metal plate that was exposed in the camera. Notoriously unforgiving, the process highlights the smallest detail in bold contrasts; subjects are portrayed as they truly are, without the benefit retouching or editing.
Brian Reda received his Bachelor’s degree in Arts Education at State University of New York, College at Buffalo, in 2006, and has extensive teaching experience in digital and alternative photographic processes. He completed his MFA in Photography at Academy of Art University in 2014. “Others: Gender” is his debut solo exhibition. Brian Reda lives and works as a fine art photographer in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Cannery Suite 104
Leili Estaki – Eastern Garden
Artist Reception April 2nd, 5:30-7:30pm
Tradition and spirituality were always integral to Leili Estaki’s upbringing in Tehran, Iran. Moving to the United States introduced her to diverse cultures and lifestyles, which sometimes conflicted with her views of God and religion. As a result, Estaki’s inner sense of peace and harmony was challenged, and in response she strove to rediscover her earlier connection through art, looking inward to revive her lost sense of peace. Her photographic series “Eastern Garden” is the culmination of this quest.
“Eastern Garden is a collection of images that unites God and human creations, magnifies their beauty, and echoes the meditating peace, which is otherwise ignored or lost in our daily mechanical life,” says Estaki. “This series embraces three representations – flowers, patterns, and light – to depict and display my spiritual experience and my source of tranquility.”
Leili Estaki moved to the United States in 1997. She received her BA in General Art from California State University, San Jose in 2006, and her MFA from Academy of Art University in 2014. Through her education she has developed her signature style of incorporating still imagery with alternative processing and mixed media, all of which is greatly influenced by her family, her birthplace, and her religion. Eastern Garden is Estaki’s debut solo exhibition.
Ilya Shkipin focuses a questioning gaze at everyday life in his figurative painting series “Transfusion” looking beyond familiarity and beneath recognition. Although the subjects are often ordinary, their stylized agony and detachment from reality invoke a dreamlike setting. Vague backgrounds that tumble into infinity isolate the figures from context, leaving them exposed to direct consideration and surprisingly capable of expressive projection. Form and line retain a measure of autonomy, sometimes abandoning descriptive duty in favor of expressive effect.
“The line often exists by itself as a separate object, which just happens to run along the edges of the objects,” says Shkipin. “The line goes through forms, morphing objects and shapes.” The result is vibrant and chaotic, appealing to the senses and calling up vague, half-forgotten dreams that lend color to our own interpretations.
Russian born Ilya Shkipin trained under artist Pavel Tayber for four years before enrolling in Academy of Art University, where he received his BA in illustration in 2012. Over the years he completely reinvented his style from fantasy and sci-fi illustration to a more grotesque and surreal expressionist approach. His award winning work has appeared in print and online books and magazines. Today he lives and works as an illustrator and fine artist in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Joyfully rebelling against complacency in architecture, Candi Qianwen Jiang presents “My Geometric World” a photo series combining her love of architecture with her background in graphic design. Starting with the conventional black and white photographic approach, Jiang turns the everyday world into a kaleidoscope of unlimited possibilities.
“It stems from the boredom and sense of visual fatigue I feel as I see the architecture along the streets of San Francisco, which seems the same now as years ago,” says Jiang. “In order to shake it up, my concept is to change and displace the forms and structure of the buildings.” Photos of architectural elements from iconic cities such as San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, and Las Vegas become the building blocks of her photocollage process. Through digital post-processing Jiang transforms these fragments into fantastical structures that show us a world unconstrained by the laws of physics, where the only limits are those of her imagination.
Candi Jiang received her Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and her MFA in Photography from Academy of Art University. Her art and design work has appeared in books and newspapers, and she has participated in numerous exhibition is the US and China. Drawing on extensive experience as a photographer in studio and television formats, Jiang currently lives and works as a freelance photographer in San Francisco.
A dynamic group exhibition of the latest work by students of the School of Jewelry and Metal Arts. Exhibiting artists include Dale Beevers, MFA; Carmen Liu, BFA; Azita Mireshghi, MFA; Colleen Scwarz, BFA.
435 Jefferson Gallery
Artist Reception March 5th, 5:30-7:30pm
AAU Galleries’ newest exhibition space is now open, featuring recent works by student and alumni artists Ian Powell, Keisha Mrotek, Yu Wen, and Neon/Fine Art Sculpture Professor Bill Concannon. Located at The Cannery, you’ll find the new gallery out along Jefferson Street, where a whole new audience can discover our awesome artists!
Two of our most dynamic alumni artists, each with a distinctive approach that complements the other, are featured in the Atelier Gallery in April. Nathan’s architectural interpretations manage to stay grounded in a wonderfully altered reality, while Jessica’s poured resin creations abandon objectivity in favor of cause and effect as depicted in the interactions of swirling colors.